According to the university, the project will last five years and aim to set criteria for offshore wind farm locations in shallow waters.
To do this, researchers will study complete turbine systems at different sites and the effects of typical weather conditions. Separately, the test site will also be used to train wind industry professionals.
Speaking about the project, senior project lead at NREL's National Wind Technology Centre Walt Musial said: "By combining the university's educational expertise with NREL's wind technology expertise, we can train future wind energy professionals to provide a skilled workforce for the offshore wind industry."
The announcement comes as UD announced it has commissioned a 2MW Gamesa turbine at its campus. Electricity produced by the turbine will be used by UD. Extra energy will be fed into the grid.
Delaware was one of 10 states to create the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, a group dedicated to promoting the development of wind energy on the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The group comprises Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia. It will seek to improve permitting, data, investment, science and infrastructure surrounding offshore development.